Saturday, 12 November 2016

October 10: At Jenny Brown's Point, Silverdale. There is great interest amongst hymenopterists about the rapid spread northwards of the Ivy Bee (Colletes hederae). It was first found in Lancashire at Heysham two days before on October 8 by Nicola Garnham and then seen here at Silverdale by Vivian Russell on the 9th. The following day I spent two hours watching/examining a patch of flowering ivy overhanging a wall here and managed a few brief sightings of this interesting bee. They appear late in the season when the ivy is flowering and are known as'solitary' bees, nesting in holes in  the ground, often in large aggregations. They were only described as new to science as recently as 1993 when found in southern Europe, and were first discovered in Britain (Dorset) in 2001. Since then they have gradually moved northwards. To date, this is the most northerly record on the west coast'

October 10, 2016

Saturday, 8 October 2016

October 6: Latrigg Common, Cumbria, for waxcaps, Seen today was the scarce Blushing Waxcap (Hygrocybe ovina) which turns pink when handled and was becoming dried in the strong wind. Also another scarce waxcap H. citrinovirens with pale lemon-yellow umbo-shaped cap with splitting margins and similarly coloured stem, and the greenish yellow H. psittacina. Also present, were H. laeta, H.pratensis. Waxcaps weren't quite abundant as usual possibly because of the dry weather?

H ovina

H citrinovirens

H psittacina

View from the waxcap grassland (in the left foreground)


Friday, 7 October 2016

September 29: Ladybirds amongst conifers at Swinsty Reservoir, west Yorkshire.

Eyed Ladybird, a rather dark form

Orange Ladybird

18-spot Ladybird

Saturday, 1 October 2016

September 27: Tansy Beetles by the River Ouse at York. These beautiful iridescent green beetles are mainly to be found on Tansy plants in riverside meadows along a limited stretch of the river here. Their larvae feed on the leaves of the tansy and the adults spend most of the winter underground. There is also a small, recently re-discovered (2014) colony at Wood Walton Fen, East Anglia.

Rawcliffe Meadows, York, 27 September 2016


Monday, 12 September 2016

Chrysolina cf varians (first three photos) on limestone grassland at Chatburn, Lancashire on 6 September, 2016, Also the very striking rainbow-coloured Chrysolina americana) on lavender near my home (2 photos), 10 miles away (14.6.2016).


Wednesday, 31 August 2016

August 30: Wool Carder Bees (Anthidium manicatum) at Brockholes N R, Preston, foraging on woundwort.

Males above - females below

August 24: Roesel's Bush-crickets (Metrioptera roeselii) near Fleetwood. The population appears to be thriving and has extended its range appreciably - 24.8.2016. 


August 23: Megachile ligniseca (leaf-cutter bees) at Brockholes, Preston, the photos are females - 23.8.2016.


Wednesday, 17 August 2016

August 16: Bush-crickets on a beautiful, hot sunny day on Heathwaite, Arnside Knot. A male and female of the elusive Oak Bush-cricket were found by beating oaks, whilst an adult male Dark Bush-cricket was found in short vegetation.

Oak Bush, male

Oak Bush, female

Dark Bush, male
Heathwaite, good habitat of open low-growing vegetation for the Dark Bush-cricket

Sunday, 14 August 2016

August; Some solitary bees seen within the last few weeks.

Anthophora furcata (Fork-tailed Flower Bee) at Brockholes.
These appeared to be solely foraging on Marsh Woundwort, their long tongues enabling them to penetrate deep into the flowers. Only females. were seen on the woundwort although males had been recorded earlier on bramble.

At Middleton near Heysham, Grey-banded Mining Bee (Andrena denticulata) showed a preference for yellow  composites.